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Huawei Mate 30 Dealt Huge Blow as Google Apps Banned

Huawei Mate 20 screen
(Image credit: Future)

Huawei's next flagship smartphone won't ship with any official Google apps.

The Chinese smartphone maker is expected to unveil its upcoming Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro flagship handset line next month. And when it does, customers won't find any official Google apps, Google executives confirmed to Reuters this week. They said that the U.S. ban on Huawei means no U.S. companies can provide their apps or services to Huawei, Google included.

That could be a significant blow to Huawei, which relies on Google's operating system to power its Android phones. In doing so, the company also relies on a variety of official Google apps, including the Google Play marketplace, Chrome for Web browsing, and more. For shoppers that are accustomed to using those services on an Android device, not having them is a major problem.

It might also be a problem for Google. 

Huawei is one of the biggest and most important smartphone makers internationally. And Google has made clear in the past that it wants to continue to work with Huawei, if it has the opportunity to do so. Technically, Google could request that its services be exempted from the U.S. Huawei ban, but the company's executives didn't tell Reuters whether they had filed for that exemption.

Even then, there's no guarantee Google would be allowed to supply its apps to Huawei. According to Reuters, the U.S. has received more than 130 exemption requests. So far, none of them have been accepted.

For its part, Huawei said that it would like to continue using Google services, if it's allowed. The company cautioned, however, that it would continue building its own alternative operating system and services, if the U.S. doesn't lift the ban.

Huawei introduced its HarmonyOS earlier in August, and it could wind up powering everything from phones to smart home devices. But the company is very much positioning the OS as a plan B. And now it looks the company may need one sooner than later. 

Huawei is expected to unveil its new Mate 30 lineup on Sept. 18 in Munich.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.